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Posted by Francesc Tomas on 04/25/2012


Barcelona failed to qualify for the Champions League final after drawing 2-2 at home to Chelsea in the return leg of the semi-finals, losing 2-3 on aggregate in what can only be described as a 'footballing miracle'.

The match was as expected, with Chelsea defending with all their might and Barcelona facing a ping-pong wall, unable to find a space through a heavily populated defence.

John Terry's stupid sending off gave Barcelona a one-man advantage but, as it happened in the away leg or El Clasico against Real Madrid, Guardiola's men failed to turn their superiority into goals - which is what makes you win matches in football.

Lionel Messi missed a penalty. Barcelona hit the post 4 times over 180 minutes. You could argue that, had a tiny bit of luck been on our side, we would have qualified for the Champions League final tonight.

But it wasn't to be.

Chelsea defended as if their lives depended on it, with every player giving their all and fighting every single loose ball in the process. Despite playing with ten men for over 60 minutes, The Blues never gave up and achieved the victory which they had been wishing for since Andres Iniesta knocked them out of this very same competition back in 2009.

Don't get me wrong, of course I am disappointed that Barcelona threw away the whole year's work in just ten days. The Pep Team's worst run came in the worst moment.

Being critical, it's clear Barcelona struggled by not being able to break Chelsea's defensive line over the 180 minutes of the semi-finals. We lacked game pace, the ball didn't flow as quickly as it should have and our moves were predictable.

Barcelona achieved a massive 73% possession, 46 shots, 18 corners and still lost.

The truth is Chelsea got a result which takes them through to the final after Barcelona were unable to score against ten men - On a personal note, I still disagree with their type of football but I guess Chelsea fans would argue that is pretty irrelevant considering the final result.

Oh well. As Fernando Torres explained after the match: 'The best side doesn't always win'

Congratulations on reaching the final, Blues.


No Final, No Problem

Barcelona have lost La Liga and the Champions League in just three matches. Definitely not the reality we wanted, but the truth is nothing we do or say is going to change it now.

Time to move on then.

Looking back, I am proud of our 2011/12 season: Barcelona have won the Club World Cup, European Supercup and Spanish Supercup, qualified for the Copa del Rey final and challenged for La Liga until the end against a pretty strong Real Madrid.

Despite last night's aggregate defeat to Chelsea, the fact we have managed to play five consecutive Champions League semi-finals shows our team is firmly within the European football elite, winning the trophy three times in the last seven years.

I'd also like to highlight Lionel Messi can have as many not-so-brilliant matches as he wants. As the best player and top goalscorer in Barcelona history, La Pulga has nothing to be sorry for. He has already given our club too much and, for us to demand more from him would be greedy. The three times Ballon d'Or winner has scored 63 goals for us this season and 243 since he debuted at just 17 years of age - Yes, I know Leo missed a penalty, no big deal.

All the Barcelona media attention is now focused on Pep Guardiola's contract renewal, and rightly so. Since he took over back from Rijkaard back in 2008, The Catalan Master has taken our side into a new level in terms of sporting excellence and, perhaps most importantly, social agreement and harmony within our Catalan fan base - I hope he stays and continues to make Blaugrana history.

Losing when you are used to winning is tough, but definitely also a learning point Barcelona can use as a springboard for better things to come in the future.


Have Your Say 

What did you think of this article?

How do you feel about Barcelona's performance?

Is there anything Guardiola needs to succeed next season?

Did I miss out on any important points you would like to share with us?

I welcome and appreciate all respectful feedback.

Força Barça!!!

Posted by: Francesc Tomàs

Founder and Columnist at

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Posted by Michael on 04/25/2012

There will be no UEFA championship nor no LaLiga championship this year. The "greatest" team in the world goes down to a team playing a man down. It does not get any better than this.

Posted by Ukeme John on 04/25/2012

Chelsea are the guyz, they worth the win over Barcelona. I support them (UP LIVERPOOL)

Posted by maka4chelsea on 04/25/2012

I appreciate the objectivity of the article. No body disputed, or still disputes, that we were up against arguably the greatest side in footballing history, but the courage it must have taken, and the hard work and passion that was evident to see is what bridged that Talent gap.Football isn't just about who can pass the ball better or players who can unlock defences. If the game were that simple, we wouldn't enjoy watching it. It was another titanic encounter that lived up to the Chelsea v Barcelona billing. I hope only that many more will follow.What I would like to see less of though is the theatrics. Chelsea and Barcelona have both shown their fair share of it over the two legs and it's not fun to watch at all

Posted by Arturo on 04/25/2012

Brilliant article. I agree a hundred percent. But as a man tha has our crest tattoed on my forearm, it still hurts to go out like that

Posted by Norman on 04/25/2012

seems like majority of teams who faced Barca would choose to play defensively and attack on the counter attack. Some teams who brave enough to play offensively usually end up as the 2nd best. congratulation to Barca because stay true to their style of play and congratulation to Chelsea for going to final and good luck for the first European crown.

Posted by Andrew kiken on 04/25/2012

When those say Chelsea parked the bus, what was chelsea to do once they were a man down. There was no way they can attack once terry was out. And terry to make matters worse is chelsea's best defender. We needed to score on our chances in the first game meaning fabregas, messi, and sanchez One away goal, and we likely advance.

Then, messi missing the first chance in the beginning of the 2nd half was a killer opportunity to send a message to chelsea there is more to come. Valdez has to work on his positioning and not let up goals like he did against ronaldo and ramirez.

Barcelona needs to figure out how to win when they have possession. I am all for barcelonas style of attack to get small through balls through close to goal, but they needed to speed up the pace of play as they did in the last 5 minute. Once we lost to ee, we needed to come out with more. It is clear fabregas lost it at the end of the year when it mattered.

Posted by MIchael on 04/25/2012

Great column! It is nice to have a well-written, thoughtful Barca column on soccernet. Yesterday was a tough defeat. There were a few things that I noticed from yesterday's match. First, we did not try to beat the man on the dribble nearly enough. Effective 1 v 1 play pulls other players out of position - there was enough space on the wing to accomplish this. Next, the players - whether due to fatigue or another reason - were too static. There was not nearly enough movement off the ball - nobody following the pass, doing give and go's... Also, what happened to Pedro? I'm pretty sure he was on the bench. Cuenca and Tello before Pedro? I'm wondering if Pedro has a future at the club. Here's to hoping that the ultimate club man - Pep - stays at Barca. Visca el Barca!!!

Posted by andrew kiken on 04/25/2012

Also, it is easy to 2nd guess after a loss but, peps substitutions were baffling. Tello for cuenca is that an improvement? Why not pedro he is is the finisher. Then, even more confusing is kieta for fabregas.....we needed to score why not pedro then. Pedro had an impact in the first game against chelsea.

I think while being positive the focus needs to be on scoring more goals when other teams defend. Barcelona needs to players who can take people off the dribble besides messi, iniesta, and dani alves. I am thinking xavi might be in his last year. David villa should get one more year, but he was almost on the bench as the season began. But, we need someone to score besides messi. If Messi misses his chances then barcelona is in trouble.

Posted by John on 04/25/2012

Well said. I couldn't agree more.

Posted by Ranjan Singh on 04/25/2012

Nicely summed up emotions of all Barca fans...We have been devasteted as all our dreams been broken in space of three matches but still we are proud fan of a Proud team who makes Football still look beautiful....Messi is by far the best in the world and whomsoever doubt it, I would say they just hate the fact that their teams don't have a talent like its a plain case of Sour grapes....Anyways we need a forward who can compliment Messi and couple of strong defenders...n next season we will again be a force to beat.....Barca and Messi for Life...Vamos Messi..Vamos Barca

Posted by moh ysuf on 04/25/2012

I was absolutely devastated last night, but I believe in football, you win some you lose some. You can't win all the time and that's the beauty of the game. However, I hope this will make us come back stronger next year. Injury to David Villa, Abidal, Afellay, Pedro (most of the season)didn't help matters. Guardiola needs to learn from this defeat that "if it's not broke then don't fix it" Barca dominated the world last season, but since the addition of Cesc and Alexis he has put himself under enormous pressure to play them which has led him to playing 3 in the back most of the time this season. Admittedly sometimes it has worked, but it has backfired against top quality opposition who are very good on the counter attack. I am sure when he looks back at where it was all lost it at Stamford Bridge and Nou camp against Madrid where he has chosen to play Dani Alves as a winger when the guy is clearly not a winger, that was evident that arrogance was creeping in and I hope has learnt.

Posted by barca123 on 04/25/2012

This season is great success.This is why.
1. We won 3 prestigious trophy against very strong opposition.
2. we are at the cup final. A win there will make us the team with most number of spanish cup in history.
3. across the 3 competitions where we faced real madrid, all 3 we came on top head to head.
In all three competitions, barca won real madrid by 3-2 aggregate. Meaning out of 6 classicos this season, Barca won 3 lost 1 and drawn 2! even better if look at total aggregate over 7 classicos, we win by 9-6. A 3 goal cushion, resounding dominance over real madrid. 4th year in a row.
4. getting knocked out from champions league and liga can actually turn out to be good for us. It will give the spanish players much needed rest and allow guardiola to experiment some new exciting youth players like tello and cuenca. Also, this loss means messi finally got something to fight for after years of relentless success.

I will end by saying, barca fans. RELAX. Just ask liverpool fans how they do

Posted by Joel on 04/25/2012

I'm sorry, but for me, this CL defeat is almost solely Messi's fault. I love Leo, but it was his (rare) carelessness that led to Chelsea's winning goal at Stamford Bridge and it was his miss that gave Chelsea the lifeline they needed at the Nou Camp. Sure, Cesc and Alexis missed chances they'd normally bury, but Messi's errors stick out so much more in my mind because that's the player he is. Has he commmented at all on this? I want to know how he feels but as far as I'm concerned, heavy is the head that wears the crown.

Posted by TCR on 04/25/2012

As a Chelsea supporter I feel for Barcelona. But the UCL is about winning no matter how the game is won, at the end of the day people are not going to remember this match but the side who win the UCL. Yyou have to give credit to Chelsea as they were written off since the Napoli tie and they had done a fantastic job. I'm sure not many footballing sides can do what Chelsea have achieved against Barcelona, ugly or pretty it doesn't matter.Chelsea are one whisker away from winning the prize that keeps getting away. Should be a blockbuster in Munich!

Posted by Kamloops on 04/26/2012

With the euros again using up the legs of many Barca players, the most important thing will be to beef up squad depth. According to reports, Neymar has all been signed up by Rosell. Barca solely lacked strikers with the Villa injury this year and El Guaje is not getting any younger. Bring Neymar's schedule forward to joining Barca.
We lost a lot of pace and athleticism with Abidal's condition so a replacement left back is also a priority.
Can we afford Thiago Silva? The centre of the defense lacks strength. Puyol is getting old and might be needed at left back; Masch is still a converted mid; and Pique might still be on Shakira walk-about.
Key question- are the La Masia products ready? Supposedly, Montoya, Bartra, Muniesa and dos Santos are going to be first team members next season.
Will Pep actually rotate players to give them game ?
I think the new La Masia boys will provide squad depth at the back and mid-field but Neymar and Silva will still be my dream signings for the off-seaso

Posted by Doc on 04/26/2012

Th starting' point' of th new era of Barca.....see what
happen next season- getting better or worse!!......what a surprise th champion league final team- Chealsea vs Bayern M. but both team deserved it.....may best team win....

Posted by Roman Army (Chelsea Fan) on 04/26/2012

Football is an unpredictable game....and reading your post right before this one, proves that one should never ever try to be al knowing and predict out right what will happen in a match.

Posted by leopuzo on 04/26/2012

im not barca fan but i think they ve exellent soccer concept, to my chargrin i was thinkin we were goin down the drain wen terry was sent off. U ve to give chelsea kudos for havin one of d defence in d world. Up blues..the conquerer of barca.

Posted by William Ho on 04/26/2012

The performance of Barcelona since 2008 has really captured the imagination of most, if not all, soccer fans in the world! Barcelona is displaying one of the most breathtaking, beautiful & elegant style of any team sport! It will be a disappointed if Barcelona starts to abandon what they have, and change to a different form. I know that winning games and winning championships are the judgement of how successful you are. However, we need artists instead of all scientists; visionaries instead of all practicals; dreamers instead of all realtors. So, GO BARCA GO!

Posted by shoeb on 04/26/2012

A great article being a barcelona fan. But the thing is every team has to play to their strengths and thats what both teams. If people expect temas to play fuid attacking football against barcelona then they definately will lose as barcelona play the best possession football and use that the attack teams for the whole duration of the game. The only way to paly against an ultra attacking team is to play defensively or on the counter. I beleive chealsea were clinical in their finishing in both the goals scored, drogba and ramires, torres was lucky not to have anyone to stop him but none the less victor valdes should have done better with that.

Posted by Charles on 04/26/2012

As a Chelsea fan since 1965 I have enjoyed the relationship between Barca and Chelsea over the years.I watch Barca whenever possible [ most weeks ]and expected a cricket score from Barca on Tuesday night.But it wasn't to be. Chelsea played very well but really it was a tired Barca that didn't have the energy to create their special flair that has allowed Chelsea to progress.
They are the best team in the world. No doubt.
Too much football jades even the best.
Your comments are fair and honorable.
Good luck for next season.

Posted by Nick on 04/26/2012

I am disappointed at the loss, and the fact that Messi missed that penalty - especially seeing as both Ronaldo and Robben were able to conquer that feat today. I struggle to have faith in Pep at times. Although he has brought success, we have seen over 4 years how teams have reacted and learned to quell this Barca side - "anti-football". Im not sure what a plan B would look like, but Pep needs to figure something out. Long term injuries to Afellay and Villa, along with spells for sanchez, iniesta, and pique amongst others haven't helped this season.
Unity and a consistent starting 3 are needed in attack, and transfers need to be had to deal with the aging Puyol and Abidal. Jordi Alba, David Luiz, Thiago Silva...
Also, it is obvious Xavi is struggling, Pep needs to groom either/both Thiago and Cesc for that position, and add more consistency with Busquets and Iniesta and an altering 3 midfield position consisting of Xavi, Thiago & Cesc.

Posted by Dre on 04/26/2012

No crying over spilt milk . The more technical team carried the day. Just wish us luck against the bavarians while you regroup for next season

Posted by David on 04/26/2012

I feel that Barcelona didn't do their best this season and many are starting to doubt that Barcelona's Golden Era has ended. However this article has given hope to those who are truly faithful to Barcelona that they will rise again. And as for Lionel Messi, Francesc Tomas you are right about asking for more from Lionel Messi. He has done alot and can still give more since he is only 24. He is human after all. All that Guardiola needs to succeed is to have confidence and not allow these trouble times to not renew his contract. He has a pretty strong team however he needs to secure the points before trying out something new that could danger Barcelona from winning the tournament such as an example of putting Thiago in the Clasico when Cesc Fabregas or Alexis Sanchez could of taken his spot. Tello did pretty good in the clasico but needs more experience in the professional side.
Barca Forever!!!!

Posted by chukwuma on 04/26/2012

good to see how humble you have become. being that humility is a virtue that is clearly lacked by barca players and fans alike. you all went into the game thinking of the finals and the thinking around your camp was like "surely,no one can stop us!". you have a good team,pick yourselves up,and know from today that you are a good team,but not the best. because there is no best team in the world! to achieve that you need to have the best goalkeeper,the best defence,the best midfield, the best attack and the best team. last time i checked, you had only the best midfield!

Posted by Salman on 04/26/2012

I'm still proud of barcelona, their philosophy, their play. and as liverpool's fans say "If you can't support us when we draw or lose, don't support us when we win"

Guardiola have to find some ways breaking the wall or another way to play, of course without leaving the tiki-taka, since some teams already know how to defeat barca. and some of them just like chelsea, building a great wall :)

another my opinion, after his injury, xavi seems lose his magic pass. what do you think?

Posted by Andy on 04/26/2012

You should be a little unbiased and give credit where it's due. Anyone can play ping pong amongst their teammates, who actually takes their chances it what matters. Messi had a penalty, hit the post, had other chances, but it didn't happen. Each time Chelsea had possession in Barca's half they scored. Attractive football is not always the best, so no....the best side didn't NOT win, the best side won!!

Posted by PT on 04/26/2012

1) Barca needs a quality centerback. Puyol Pique only means no squad depth. Mascherano is not a CB. 4 goals conceded in 3 matches on counterattacks, this ain't good defending.

2) Get a lethal finisher. Barca played with zero urgency in the 2nd half, they seemed to forget that you can shoot from outside the box. One dimensional attacks = easy for packed defences to deal with.

3) Find a way to beat defensive teams. It's clear tiki taka won't work against disciplined defensive teams. Back to the drawing board for Pep.

Posted by Sam on 04/26/2012

It's a pleasure to read a balanced, sane blog such as this one. Yes, it does need repeating in a sporting world such as ours: you have to know how to lose, with grace and dignity. As far as I can tell, and am not a Spanish reader/speaker, Barca have done that supremely well these past few days.

Next step: hire a couple of excellent defenders. Finally, I still don't understand how Barca could have let Yaya Toure go. His skills -- both defensive and offensive -- would have helped so much, especially these past few days.

Posted by Carlos on 04/26/2012

Francesc, you are one hell of a classy guy. Graceful in defeat and forgiving of your hero, Messi, pointing out how much he has given Barca and likewisw how much Barca has given it' fans.For that, this is one of the nicest articles I've ever read from an opposing club fan.I'm a Chelsea fan and am delighted that my team got through but at the same time I can feel for Barca's players and fans. It's just a pity someone had to lose. In fact,there were no losers. The entertainment Barca/Chelsea gave us makes us all winners.I'm sure the players enjoyed playing the game as well. Yes, and I agree, despite this ' defeat' Barca is no doubt the best team in the world today. It's a joy watching them play.Better luck next time Franc!

Posted by joseph rhule homiah on 04/26/2012

the semifinals are over and the bookmakers prediction have been turned upside down from my roof top i will want to look at the whole scenario from the point of view of the real quality of the spanish championship and wonder whether its overhyped. which competitive one has a difference of about 23 points between second and third placed team.and look at chelsea at their position in the premiership able to beat barca with ten men.what of bayern think we should look at la liga again,as for jt the least said the better.england learn

Posted by mossgari on 04/26/2012

Sir Francesc. you have covered us very well. you couldnt ask for more from our team, we have over achieved in a short space of time. Maybe is good that we did not go to the final, so that it builts a hunger form our players for next season. lets celebrate what we have and not lament on spilt milk.Nice one Bro. FORCA BARCA

Posted by jeten on 04/26/2012

hi Francesc

I really liked your article comments. i think its pretty much spot on. I would like to add that Barcelona play the the game the way it is meant to be played. In terms of their game plan, all i think that is need is the ability to adapt their style to teams like Chelsea. The ocassions that they did put the keeper under pressure to make a save was when a player took a shot outside of the box. Messi himself hit the bar. How many times do we see in the premier league great goals form outside the 18 year? Barca may not exactly have the players to do this, but that shouldnt stop them from trying. Anyone remember how they beat chelsea in 2009? A certain Andres Ineista took a shot top corner from outside. This needs to be done more often against such teams, as they try too hard to walk the ball in with tippy tappy passing which will always work against teams like Gatafe, but not as much against teams like Chelsea

Posted by Jeff L on 04/26/2012

The peak of Barca was in 2009. They had world-class players in every compartment, apart from their GK. In defense, they had a fit Puyol and Abidal. In midfield, they had Xavi-Iniesta-Busquets and Yaya who added physical strength. In attack, they had a real centre-forward in Eto'o and Henry was there to convert real striker goals.

Today, Puyol is old and no longer has the speed and endurance to play at top level. Barca did not consider it necessary to add a good central defender to their squad. Mascherano cannot deal with height. On the left Abidal is getting old and has health problems. Barca do not have a good replacement for him. On the right, Alves too often frustrates the fans. And in goals, Valdes is terrible. A good GK is essential for any team.

So, Barca should really look at strenghtening their squad with a good GK to replace the awful Valdes, one or two CB, a LB, and a striker for head-ins and tap-ins. They are still the best team, but they have an incomplete squad.

Posted by shalen on 04/26/2012

relly messi did all his best..he is clam and he has a long way to go..well bacelona no metter what poves to display the soccer we all wana see so thanks to the team as a whole and we wish to see you performing like this forever

Posted by AnArsenalFan on 04/26/2012

Arsenal fan here.

To me it's obvious that this semi-final was partly won by Chelsea and partly lost by Barca. Chelsea did all they could, but ultimately they needed big errors from Messi to go through if we are being honest. They were mentally strong and fought hard, but obviously overwhelmed 90% of the time. The ball just didn't swing Barca's way on those few key occasions in front of goal.

So IMO Barca fans have nothing to blame but the nature of football. Not every penalty goes in and sometimes you miss chances at the worst possible moment. This result says nothing about Barca's quality or Pep's management. Barca and Pep performed as well as they always have.

It's just that in this case things didn't go quite right, which inevitably happens to every team no matter how great.

Posted by tribaldeath on 04/26/2012

Excellent Article. Ty.

Barca still the best regardless of the slides last week. They would and should mature more.

Posted by Ayodeji Opaleke on 04/26/2012

Excellent article.
Pep should train the guys to be able to take shots from outside the 18yards box. I am not for changing the tiki taka but when you come against a defence as tight as chelsea's, the plan B would be to explore accurate long range shots.

and the team needs some great defenders and keeper for the next season. Lets not be deceived, the reason why Valdez has conceeded so little number of goals is because of Barca playing style that does not give much possesion to the opponent. On the little times when Barca is pressured, Valdez concedes some silly goals which a great keeper should not.

Posted by rose on 04/26/2012

i think mourinho is a failure..comparing messi 2 ronaldo is a stupid thing 2 do & an utter disrespect 2 a player who single-handedly carried barcelona since david villa got injured,pedro lost his form,fabregas & sanchez..been confused & finally xavi & iniesta playing very like a shadow of themselves..the guy has been incredible..scoring goals & creating assists,resucing the team when needed....MESSI is human & has gone has far as he can..exhaustion & fatigue is seriously affetcing his play...but he has been fantastic....NO PLAYER IN THE WORLD HAS MORE BLOCKS PREPARED 4 HIM LIKE MESSI...OPPONENT,HACK HIM DOWN,HIT HIM,KICK HIM & ALMOST 5 TO 6 PLAYERS TRY 2 CLOSE HIM DOWN..BUT STILL HW STILL MANAGES 2 FIND WAY 2 SCORE OR CREATE....RONALDO IS A GOAL SCORER THAT I CAN'T ARGUE WITH,BUT HE DOESN'T BRING HALF OF WHAT MESSI BRINGS 2 THE GAME..HE HAS THE BENZEMA & HIGUAIN,OZIL,KAKA DI MARIA 2 COVER 4 HIM...MESSI HAS HIMSELF.COS HIS TEAM MATES XAVI & INIESTA LOST SOMEWHERE...MOURINHO PAY RESPECT.

Posted by Aaron on 04/26/2012

It is hard to accept an unexpected result/outcome however you have to rise from where you fall and turn misfortunes into opportunities.

Posted by jackie on 04/26/2012

bye bye to barca,they have done alot for the club and fans, it whort appreciating.

Posted by ROSE on 04/26/2012

as to ur questions? barcelona performed very well & on any other day,they would have beaten chelsea home & away.....i don't belive in the defending pple kept shouting about 4rm i see it,it wasn't meant 2 be...if it was the 1st leg would have said it all...
(2)for guardiola 2 succeed, he needs 2 bring in some players to help cover some lapses when things aren't going as planned..WHAT KILLED BARCA WAS LACK OF EXPERIENCED PLAYERS ON THE BENCH.COS FATIGUE MUST SET IN,PLAYERS MUST EITHER GET INJURED OR GO OUT OF FORM....SO WHEN U HAVE OPTIONS(not the youth academy players,bcos they are pretty young & inexperienced 2 carry such burden,the shape of the team will be maintained & won't cause much effect on the teams chances of them winning a silver ware.

Posted by Stephen on 04/26/2012

Yeah Barca lost dominated had over 75% possession over both legs, but lacked d cutting edge to kill d game off. We are all too quick to say Chelsea packed d bus, but football is both defending and attacking.barca believed in d Art of attacking play, pass d ball around quickly all within d midfield but Chelsea defended their territory and sniffed all their attacks. Despite playing 10men for over 60min barca cld still not killed d game. Chance created don't when matches goals scored does. With 10 men Chelsea still managed to equalised d match and won. The best team won in my view. Same thing happened at d classico. Barca needs a reinventing.

Posted by ayodele edrees on 04/26/2012

well its has been a very tough days for us fans becos we are use to winning, although pep gaurdiola has really tried for d catalian, having won about twenty sometin trophies in d last four years. He got it all wrong when he started adopting a 3-4-3 formation to the team, he should have stick to our 4-4-2 formation dat we are use to and we always win with d formation. Especially using a feeders team player to start a match i dont even knw wat he was thinking for doing so and resting some of d big boys who can perform in d attack.. Well at this junction we should forget our lost and look 4 a way to rebuild and correct our mistake for d next season! First we need to buy experience tall and strong players like three to strengthen d defence, and one experience attacker to assist messi upfront.. Otherwise without doing dis we we keep loosing against d big team, all the players dat pep buy are wrong and average players. We need a strong striker dat can play shot in front of d goal post and outside so dat we reduce presure frm messi, samething at our defence is weak, poor and lack idea we need a good defenders. Tanx

Posted by G.Jay on 04/26/2012

GREAT article. Its fair its balanced and to the point. As a Barca fan and admirer this is the first time am reading your blog and am impressed with your fairness. Am sure at this moment most Barca fans will be happy that their arch-rivals also lost last night. But focusing on match itself, I think it was sheer hard-luck. It was as if we were destined not to reach the finals. The hard luck was evident in both legs. Moving forward, I think Barca players should learn to shoot from afar when it matters most and not always wanting to work their way close to the keeper to score goals. They should strengthen their defensive set up and also cover their backs when their concentration is focused on the opponents side, because many teams will play like how Chelsea played and counter the moment they realize Barca are vulnerable at the back. I also think Valdes should be sharper than he is now. Personally he's one of Barca's weak points. We live to fight another day. Again great article

Posted by Noor Alif on 04/26/2012

Excellent blog!

I agree with everything you wrote. This defeat to Chelsea can only strengthen Barca.


Posted by shahidahmedawan on 04/26/2012

yes i agree with you but some time needed luck,,
barca the world class club in the present time but the last 3 matches they miss the chances and get the pressure so, they played well but they can not post in net, barca play style slow and stayedy they cant play paster like real Madrid and other club first timing attack against Chelsea and real the all player in side the box how scored messi goals ,,,,,,,,, thinking the club management and change the style of attack look the ronaldo goal against barca first time attack, so its the difference between barca and real Madrid.

Posted by Sandippatel on 04/26/2012

Well I personally think Barcelona were fabulous all credit
To Chelsea though they had a real fighting spirit
But what Barcelona need to work on is their finishing
That's it if they had taken their chances they would
Have easily scored 9 goals altogether in both leg
. Pep should also should always have 4 defender at all times if he had abidal , pique, alves, and pyol in defense then it would have been a different game. Too me this is the best football style ever and pep
Should continue playing the way he is.

Posted by Martin Scanlon on 04/26/2012

Great article. You are very gracious in defeat. I am a long time Chelsea fan, and of course I am delighted my team went through. Your team though, is excellent- you have set a new standard in how football should be played. But who would watch a game that is totally predictable? It is the element of luck and overcoming incredible odds that makes watching football so compelling.

Just one more thing: Barcelona's play is a bit one-dimensional, as brilliant as it is. If you had a long-ball-to-tall-centre-forward option in your bag, you would have no doubt have netted a score against 10 men who lost both central defenders! Who do you think will win the final?

Posted by Martin Scanlon on 04/26/2012

Great article. You are very gracious in defeat. I am a long time Chelsea fan, and of course I am delighted my team went through. Your team though, is excellent- you have set a new standard in how football should be played. But who would watch a game that is totally predictable? It is the element of luck and overcoming incredible odds that makes watching football so compelling.

Just one more thing: Barcelona's play is a bit one-dimensional, as brilliant as it is. If you had a long-ball-to-tall-centre-forward option in your bag, you would have no doubt have netted a score against 10 men who lost both central defenders! Who do you think will win the final?

Posted by Julio on 04/26/2012

You and countless other Barca fan boys can disagree with Catenaccio-like defending 'till the cows come home, but such is needed and executed when facing a superior opponent, especially when trying to salvage a goal advantage.

Posted by mik on 04/26/2012

well..i just don't agree with tactical alteration Pep has made this season, it's important to have different approach to a game..but our 4-3-3 is, and always will be our winning, all conquering formula (with all that pressing discipline)..3-4-3 for Barca is just to "overconfident", although it's fully utilizing creative freedom (with all that possession)..but one thing i learn in FM (yes, it's a game..not real), too much creativity = less tactical adherence..

Posted by Rene Ardon on 04/26/2012

Great Article! As a Barca fan, I'm very proud of my team as well. Lionel Messi is still the greatest. Even the great superstars fail, but thats what makes them stronger. Reminds me of Michael Jordan's quote "I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost more than 300 games. Twenty-six times I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot - and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life... And that is why I succeed."

Posted by willson tan on 04/26/2012

it just hit me that everytime a player or manager is just bit over the board, arrogance so to say, there will lose. Remember last time MU was thrashed 1-6 to MC, what did one of the player said. Now, what xavi said? No doubt spain is arguably the best team is europe and probably the history but to say that no way chelsea can beat them as far as all section is evaluate whether attack, midfield or defense is a clear definition or sheer arrogance...and this anger the God and God has all his rights and power that prove Barcelona wrong...He did just that and we saw that as mere unlucky. Too bad...learn and lose out.

Posted by Alexandra on 04/26/2012

Give Chelsea and Bayern Munich were credit is due, Barcelona and Real Madrid are one of the best teams of the world, Messi is not the best but one of the best in the world and don't use the Classico as an excuse, what is the problem is that the two teams Barcelona and Real Madrid need to play each other to determine who is going to win, that's sad. What about the other eighteen teams in the league, they're are like passengers, just in it for the ride. Look, at the premier league, there are seven ladders (Man Utd, Man City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Spurs, and now Newcastle) you have to go through before you can say you've won and the teams at the bottom when its crunch time spice it up a whole lot more. Now that's a league! not a two way street.

Posted by solomon agbons on 04/26/2012

barca where really showing alot of pride over chelsea

Posted by Ken P on 04/26/2012

Well said, Francesc. Oddly, I am a US-based fan of both Barca and Chelsea, and watched the semifinal tie on the edge of my seat. Barca is beautiful to watch, but owning 80% of the pitch is only part of the requirement in this game. Barca need to be able to play in the last 18 yards against all types of formations and tactics. I'd like to see a summer spent looking for some height to deal with the types of tactics that Chelsea employed.

Posted by kelvin on 04/26/2012

barcelona need to get two central defenders that are well above 6 feet nd have got pace. gareth bale or david alaba would be a great replacement for abidal. pls barcelona, stop playing ur two central defenders at d half way line.

Posted by royalregalreal on 04/26/2012

Full congrats to Chelsea. A supposedly vastly inferior team beat a top ten all time great team on the road for a shot at the most important trophy in the world [WC? pfftt] - half of the time with only ten men! John Brewin was absolutely [and brutally] correct in writing that the vaunted passing and scoring of Barca couldn't write a story anywhere near as gratifying as the one that an underdog Chelsea enacted that night. It shouldn't matter who you support, Chelsea's story is as much a credit to world futbol as Barca's tiki-taka. Sorry Barca, nothing lasts forever. Your best wasn't enough to beat an "inferior" and undermanned squad at home. Deal with. Learn from it. And move on.

Posted by Arturo Rosales on 04/26/2012

According to a TV Chile sports report two days ago, Barsa have played against 52 different teams during Guardiola's tenure as manager of Barcelona and defeated 51 of them. The only team they have never defeated guessed it......Chelsea. (2 losses and 6 draws)

To have 73% possession, 46 shots and not be able to scpre is poorfootball. Posession does not gain you poiints as in boxing. The only statistics that count are goals. Barcelona fans need to learn that and give due merit to good defence. Calling it "antifootball" is just sour grapes- Why should any team play to suit Barsa when they know with almost 100% certainly that tehy will be soundly beaten?

Posted by Femi on 04/26/2012

This is a response to Charles. I'm sorry but I would have to call your claim of being a Chelsea fan since 1965 into questions. I find it baffling that you would claim that we faced a tired Barca that could not produce their typical flair. Do you know the kind of Schedule Chelsea have had this month? We played way more games than Barca.
So please don't use that tired excuse.

Posted by Sam, Jakarta on 04/26/2012

I love beautiful attacking football with slick passing and high percentage possession..I loved former Ayax which dominated Europe in the 70s, Arsenal..the invincible Arsenal and Barca. I still love Arsenal now though not as much as I loved the invincible Arsenal.

Apparently Barca are the top at the moment when it comes to attacking football with slick passing and high percentage possession. Barca should have won..but they were denied by Chelsea's goal frame... which to me...I mean Chelsea's goal frame ...was "the man of the match"...thus Barca lost because of Act of God.

Having said that perhaps this loss is good lesson for Barca players to remain humble. Often times I feel the likes of Xavi and Alves spoke in such a way leaving an impression they have too high self esteem.

No hard feelings please folks. Like you all, I still love Barca.

Posted by Daniel on 04/27/2012

If Barca could have even imagined the possibility of defeat they would not have lost. A touch of over confidence cost them in both games and allowing 10 men to score two goals at your home ground is not beautiful or "the way the game should be played". Glad to see a more humble response from most Barca fans, I predict your team will bounce back stronger next season. Barca are a wonderful side which is evidenced by how happy Chelsea fans are to have beaten them.

Posted by Black Hei on 04/27/2012

Well I think if Barca were able to consolidate and move into a back 4 and start doing that tiki thingy just for possession after scoring that 2nd goal, they would have been in the final.

Instead they got caught in a counter attack immediately. Complacency crept in I think. Still it was 2 very good quality goals from Barca.

Posted by Tayelolu on 04/27/2012

No doubts barca plays the best touch game in the world. So for chelsea to trrumph they have to play the best defensive game in the world. And dont forget barca vs chelsea matches all time haue always been tough including the 2009 semifinal match where chelsea was robbed. And considering your earlier post i think you should be full of more praise for chelsea and barca should try to get another game plan cos this style is no longer working for them against strong teams. Good luck to barca as guardiola bows out

Posted by Ubong imoh on 04/27/2012

I realy commend ur article,i'm a fan to chelsea fc and i do luv the way barca play futbal. Barca played their best but chelsea were resilient enough 2 resist their attaking power, chelsea were just ment 2 play Ucl final this yr.

Posted by Mike on 04/27/2012

Good football is about putting the ball into the net and NOT about playing beautifully but don't score ! And please don't shout that Chelsea played urgly to win ! There is no excuses ! If you can't be inch perfect, then please don't claim you are the best, this makes me sick ! Barcelona is playing on home ground plus so many advantages they posses, yet could manage only 2 goals. By contrast, Chelsea only has few attacks, but are potent and clinical. Barca has fear playing Chelsea that is without doubt, statistic tells that. Barcelorna was the best team in the world, but Chelsea is above them.

Posted by Shareef K on 04/27/2012

I've been Barca my whole life and Messi is my favorite Football player in the world, but I have to give it to D.Drogba for giving 110% of effort and passion towards this sport. Yes it is a shame that Barca lost but all I can say is i'm looking forward into Barcelona even without our amazing coach (Pep Guardiola) let's see what the assistant coach got up his sleeves and hopefully win next time! VIVA BARCA & L.MESSI !

Posted by Bob Lewis on 04/27/2012

History will justly deem Barça's 2012 season a disappointment, the result of three, successive matches over 6 days without a win. Most criticism has focused on their attack: an inability to score enough goals. But for a world class side, the Barça defense was quite simply, poor. Puyol, el sarnoso león, the team's heart and soul, no longer has the pace to mark counterattacks when his defense is set up at the halfway line. Why Piqué, with size, strength, and pace, was dropped for the first two matches is totally baffling. Indeed, with a fit Piqué and Abidal on the pitch, Chelsea would not have scored a single goal in the two matches.

Posted by Valentine on 04/27/2012

A club more than a home, barca are no.1 in d world. Despite dey lost d Ucl and la liga. Dis barca are more than a team. They are spetacular on d pitch of play. I luv u barca. Barca 4life.

Posted by blackice on 04/28/2012

I agree - the Barca team are the best club team I have ever seen. I recall the total thrashing (and embarrassing lesson ) they gave to Celtic several years ago. I made the comment then that no British team could play like that..and it is still true, They also totally outplayed Arsenal and Man U in the UCL..Chelsea somehow have negated this team and I applaud their effort. The two semi finals are among the most remarkable games I have witnessed.

Posted by yorn_a on 04/28/2012

there will be more matches between chelsea and barca in the future, and chelsea WILL lose most of them and win only a few. Luck has it that those few they won are the crucial ones.

Congrats to chelsea for winning and to torres for getting some of his touch back (hoping there will be more to come). feels sorry for leo for having a less-awesome day (hope there will be less of this in the future). and for terry, what the hell was that??? and right when your team needed you most!! stupid!

Posted by Nacho on 04/28/2012

Did Chelsea a depleted side show the formula to other teams on how to beat the boys from Barca ? ... perhaps, but this game showed weaknesses for the boys from Barcelona 1) lousy gk need an upgrade there (Tim Howard) 2) Inablity to change it's way of playing when needed example attack from the wings to spread out a packed in defense mindset of 10 players in the box 3) A certain type of player that has the skill to play the Barcelona way but also hold the ball in crowd and play off this one player (Clint Dempsey) comes to mind. CONGRATS CHELSEA JOB WELL DONE !!!

Posted by SAM J on 04/30/2012

Great Article !!!

Winning so many titles in these years is not a joke and i am proud to say that BARCA did it.
It's a great thing that chelsea won but this defensice technique showed that they can not pass contineously and even they can not hold the ball.
It's like some one is crowling to get the Crown and another is proudly going no matter what happens. As, barca knows not this time then some another time, but we will be back. And, we proved that we can WIN. And, i don't think anyone has level to even speak against MESSI. First be atleasr 25% of him then speak.

Posted by hamzah tarawneh on 04/30/2012

well messie nice try against chelese you did good .Do better next time yall should of won.

Posted by hamzah tarawneh on 04/30/2012

well messie nice try against chelese you did good .Do better next time yall should of won.

Posted by afambele godlove on 05/04/2012

all haters are all out now.Even those who supported barca are against us but there is no big deal because thats just hao life is. Buyt just got one thing to say, that the downfall of my team is not the end of their career but just a tough challenge for us. so waiting to see all of you guys next season. and afterall you guys know that chelsea has never got a champion league trophy since their existence so i think it was a pity on them. but i can see that they dont still appreciate what barca did to them.

Posted by keong on 05/22/2012

i've been telling any1 since 2009 that there's 1 team that can stop barca,yes it's chelsea!name me the team that attack barca from the start then? i don't think it exist! if you want to beat barca,the team must have a big sizes strikers such drogba,dzeko,ibramovic,gomez,heskey etc...and use the long ball or high ball as a main tactics,bomb the ball foward accurately and play hard but clean aka the crazy gangs last time(wimbledon fc 10-14 years ago)chelsea hv got a team that what it take to beat barca due to variety of players type to chose from,from sizes,skillful n deadly foward.plan A and B were on the field while barca only had plan A. next season apart from chelsea,man city,bayern or madrid,there's no other team that can give barca a hardtime for sure eventhough i'm a die hard man utd fan...

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Francesc Tomas Hola! I am Francesc Tomas. Barcelona is my passion and home-town team. I consider myself lucky to have regularly attended matches at the Camp Nou since the early 1980s. My cousin played for the Barça youth academy, sharing the team with Don Andres Iniesta, which gave me a clear inside view of how our club works behind the scenes. I am also the founder, editor and columnist at

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